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Expo recognizes stand out exhibitors


October 25, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Oct. 25, 2013, Toronto — Garden & Floral Expo crowned the winners of the Best Booth and Best Promotion awards on the final day of the show.

Expo, which is organized by Landscape Ontario, ran Oct. 23 and 24 at the Toronto Congress Centre, bringing together garden and floral professionals for a two-day learning, buying and networking blitz.

“Year in and year out, the show floor of Expo is a sight to behold, with bold, vibrant colours and stunning displays that really show the strengths of Ontario’s green industry,” said Heather MacRae, director of events and trade shows for Landscape Ontario. “The creativity and imagination that goes into these displays is astounding. Our judges always have a tough decision before them. They took care to evaluate every booth, on the lookout for effective, creative display marketing.”

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The Best Booth (under 200 sq. ft.) award was handed out to Pan American Nursery Products of Millgrove, Ont. The wholesale plant supplier applied creative thinking to create a happy booth presence and generate new customers. The staff sported custom shirts, featuring strong, colourful graphics of the company’s blooming products.

“It takes a secure man to wear this shirt,” said Ryley Anderson, a sales rep with Pan American. He also reported that attendees love the outrageous outfits.

Pan American’s well-lit display was effective, taking advantage of varied heights and massed colour, but the shirts will remain in customers’ minds.
 
For the third year in a row, the Best Booth (over 200 sq. ft.) prize went to Maple Leaf Nurseries of Jordan Station, Ont. An open metal structure afforded a simple yet effective design strategy: draped purple fabric and festive, tiny lights, attracted attention from a large area of the show floor. The booth’s asymmetrical plan invited attendees to enter. And beneath the airy canopy, Maple Leaf’s perennials, shrubs and trees were displayed with restrained, rich and sophisticated colour sense.
 
This year's best booth judges were Mike Russell (business development manager, Toronto Congress Centre), Lee Ann Knudsen (publisher, Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association) and Brad Hellas (manager, Showtech Power & Lighting).

“I really admire the consistently high level of design Expo exhibitors bring to the show,” said Knudsen. “They understand how important a visual, emotional connection is to successful marketing. And it’s not limited to lovely plants; vendors of hard merchandise and support products presented amazing visual stories, as well.”

In the best promotion category, Canadale Nurseries of St. Thomas, Ont., was recognized for its marketing efforts to drive pre-registrations for the second year in a row. Canadale's efforts included  a chance to win an iPad for customers who placed an order at the show.


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